The latest book from Marion Nestle is a fascinating look at the world of nutrition science, how the food industry is involved, and the complicated ethical considerations. Most readers won't be surprised to learn that food companies play a huge role in nutrition science, but they'll likely be shocked at how widespread and entrenched these companies area in all facets of research, funding, policy making, and more. The reason is on both sides is obvious--financial incentive. Funding for research isn't easy to come by, and companies need research and experts to lend credence to the efficacy of their products.
Ms. Nestle provides evidence to show studies tend to yield conclusions that favor the sponsor's interests, and she makes an interesting distinction that consumers should be aware of--the studies that prove a foregone conclusion are marketing research, not nutrition science. Full disclosure of conflicts of interest is a good place to start, but is it enough?
Conflicts of interest can be impact everything from nutrition organizations to medical journals to well-respected nutrition experts. If you've ever tried to research the pros/cons of certain nutrients, supplements, or diets, you likely found studies with opposing conclusions. How do consumers know who to trust? Ms. Nestle has a few ideas everyone can employ, starting with voting with your fork, questioning studies that seem too good to be true, contacting your congressional representatives about corporate influence on nutrition science, and more.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in nutrition, food policy, and the integrity of science as it relates to food.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.